The University of Georgia
Clarke, John

UGA's Amazing Students

John Clarke

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April 27, 2014

John Clarke, a senior in business administration, found plenty of opportunities during his time at UGA to hone his international business and leadership skills that put him on the path to success.

Expected graduation:

Spring 2014

Degree objective:

Bachelor of Business Administration in finance, management information systems and international business, and certificate in personal and organizational leadership

University highlights, achievements and awards:

I have been very lucky to have many terrific experiences during my time at UGA that have contributed to both my professional and personal development. I began my time at UGA in the Freshman College Summer Experience where I was afforded the opportunity to take classes, adapt to life on campus and develop close friendships that continue to this day.

In my sophomore year, I began my finance coursework in the Terry College of Business. I got involved with the International Business Society and I have been committed to the organization ever since, most recently serving the society as the senior vice president.  The ability to share my passion for international business with the Terry student body and to work with such dedicated students and faculty has been very rewarding for me personally and professionally, and I am proud that the club has grown and offers so many enrichment opportunities for students at UGA. My involvement in the International Business Society also afforded me the opportunity to participate in the ExportGA Internship Program, in which international business students work with small Georgia businesses to develop export strategies for their products and services. It was through this program, working with a local entrepreneur to market his solar power generators in Australia and Latin America, that I discovered my interest in alternative energy solutions. Recently I was awarded the Excellence in International Business Award for my contributions to the program.

This past year I became a Leadership Fellow in the Institute for Leadership Advancement. This Fellowship has allowed me to learn more about myself and to form meaningful relationships with campus student leaders and faculty mentors. As a Leadership Fellow, I am challenged to practice my values and principles and dedicate myself to stewardship and servant leadership. I am also honored to have been awarded the MIS Advisory Board Scholarship from McKesson Corp.

Hometown:

Atlanta, Ga.

High School:

Chamblee Charter High School, Chamblee, Ga.

Current Employment:

I worked over the summer and part of last semester with Apple’s At-Home College Advisor program as a technical adviser helping customers fix their iOS devices. I currently work as a private math tutor for students at UGA and other area colleges.

Family Ties to UGA:

My sister, Ellen, is a third-year student in the UGA School of Law. In classic big sister fashion, she was featured in the Amazing Student profile first and did her best to embarrass her “little brother” in her profile.

I chose to attend UGA because...

UGA is simply the best value for your education that you can get in Georgia. I was considering an offer to transfer to a Northern school after my freshman year, but I had fallen in love with the people, the campus and Georgia Saturdays. The faculty in the business school with whom I have had the pleasure of working are simply unparalleled in their dedication to helping students succeed in achieving their goals. The MIS department especially deserves accolades here, as UGA boasts the eighth-ranked MIS undergraduate program in the country.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

… attending speaking events with visiting business leaders and guest lecturers that are put on by Terry College or Terry student organizations. I cherish the opportunity to learn about business trends and practices and network with outstanding professionals. (And free meals aren’t bad either!)

When I have free time, I like...

… spending time with my friends either on campus or downtown, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, walking in the State Botanical Garden, reading The Economist or watching European soccer matches.

The craziest thing I've done is...

… go to the Georgia-Florida football game without a place to stay or a ticket to the game. I ended up sleeping in my car for three nights and brushing my teeth in public restrooms, but I was able to find a ride to the game, bought a ticket from someone tailgating outside the stadium, and got to cheer the Dogs to victory in what turned out to be a very exciting game. It was worth it.

My favorite place to study is...

… walking around North Campus and looking over notes on my tablet. I’ve learned that I think better on my feet, literally, and the architecture and landscaping on North Campus can provide a beautiful distraction from my studies in any season.

My favorite professor is...

Vikki Clawson has been one of my most influential professors and my greatest mentor in my time at UGA. Dr. Clawson works closely with all of her students in the Institute for Leadership Advancement to make sure that they develop the self-awareness and interpersonal skills needed to be a leader both on and off campus. This personalized attention has been unmatched by any other mentor that I have had, and the fact that all of her students share my feelings toward her suggest that she is one of the greatest instructors at the university.

To just pick one professor from a sea of dedicated educators is a most difficult task. Every faculty member I have had the pleasure of meeting in Terry College, notably Katherine McClain, Rick Watson, Craig Piercy and Mark Huber, have been significant influences in my personal and professional development. Their words of wisdom, humor and encouragement will not soon be forgotten.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...

… Pope Francis. I greatly admire how he has defined his own role in the papacy, focusing on outreach to the poor and engaging in dialogue to break down barriers between people of all beliefs and faiths. He is also known for his humility and for urging his followers to reject the culture of materialism and waste and instead focus on spiritual development. He is one of the most dedicated practitioners of servant leadership in my lifetime, and he could teach me a lot about how to lead a meaningful and purposeful life.

If I knew I could not fail, I would...

… develop political and economic strategies with governments and corporations to reduce carbon emissions worldwide and halt the progression of increased greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere. Global climate change is one of the greatest challenges that our generation will face, and solving the problem will require coordination and accountability from every nation across the globe. It would be incredibly difficult, but if I knew I could not fail, it would be worth it to know that future generations would be able to enjoy the same natural resources that we did.

After graduation, I plan to...

… begin working with GE in its IT Leadership Program, which will allow me to gain experience through several different positions in the organization. I look forward to growing my leadership skills, developing my business acumen and technical aptitude, and building the foundation for a rewarding career in a highly respected organization. Ultimately, I plan to return to business school to refine my skills and set a direction for my career. Another lifetime goal is to get a doctorate and return to academia as an instructor to teach and mentor students.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...

… my study abroad in India over the winter break of my junior year. India was such a beautiful country and I enjoyed exploring it with a great group of students and professors. I will treasure the memories, including riding a camel and an elephant, seeing a wild elephant in the jungle, standing in awe of the perfect symmetry of the Taj Mahal, celebrating both Christmas and New Year’s 13 hours before everyone at home, and seeing who was brave enough to eat the curried goat brain in a restaurant whose owning family had served Mughal emperors over three centuries ago. If I could leave any potential Bulldog with a word of advice, it would be to take advantage of one of the incredible study abroad programs that UGA has to offer.